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Modal science

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

Timothy Williamson*
University of Oxford, Oxford, UK


This paper explains and defends the idea that metaphysical necessity is the strongest kind of objective necessity. Plausible closure conditions on the family of objective modalities are shown to entail that the logic of metaphysical necessity is S5. Evidence is provided that some objective modalities are studied in the natural sciences. In particular, the modal assumptions implicit in physical applications of dynamical systems theory are made explicit by using such systems to define models of a modal temporal logic. Those assumptions arguably include some necessitist principles.

Copyright © Canadian Journal of Philosophy 2016

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